GRANT SEALS RETURN WITH A VICTORY
Beaten by Rob Wainwright by 0.010s over two races here last season, 2012 Historic Formula Ford champion Callum Grant returned the compliment in Saturday’s epic Scholar Engines-supported race – the highlight of the HSCC’S annual visit to Snetterton.
Red-flagged after Tony Helliwell’s Merlyn vaulted Michael Richings’ Alexis at Montreal on lap one, it proved a fierce gunfight between Grant, Wainwright and 2013 champ Sam Mitchell, breaking a 23-month sabbatical. Benn Tilley, who again set fastest lap, was closing when the flag fell on a shortened restart.
Wainwright triumphed in Sunday morning’s sequel – from which Grant retired after his throttle jammed open in the heat of battle with Rob and Sam – setting a corking Pre-1972 lap record as he hared away from Mitchell and Tilley.
Without the pressure of points-chasing, Mitchell won the fun finale, managing the gap to Grant who started from the back but was second and closing inside four laps. Will Nuthall joined them on the podium as Danny Stanzl pipped dad Kevin for fourth.
Reduced to a one-hour Guards Trophy ‘sprint’ after a lowly entry the Autosport Three Hours had Chevrons in the fray for the first time since 2013. Steve Boultbee Brooks and Rob Beebee drove their ex-lord Angus Clydesdale B8 beautifully to claim victory after challenger Greg Thornton pitted his newly-restored ex-digby Martland example with gearbox issues.
A late safety car period [to recover Will Goff ’s Lotus Elan, which shed a wheel mid-coram] reunited the field, with a slower car separating each of the top three in the queue. As Beebee deservedly won the single-lap dash to the chequer, Dan Cox gunned reigning Guards titlist Mike Gardiner’s TVR Griffith past Nick Thompson’s ex-chris Skeaping Chevron B6, with Sean Mcclurg up, as they lunged for the line.
Ed Morris scorched John Davison’s ‘Gold Bug’ Elan clear of its small-capacity Pre-’66 GT rivals, setting up a fine fourth overall ahead of Adrian and James Russell’s Elan. Sixth was the Ginetta G16 of Patrick Ward-booth/iain Mcdonald who received the Peter Swinger Trophy [in memory of the ’60s competitor] for their spirit.
The Archie Scott Brown Trophy ’50s sportscars race had a sting in its tail, for having blasted past poleman Roberto Giordanelli’s ex-bill Pollack Dean Van Lines Lister-chevrolet in his self-built facsimile, Mark Lewis gyrated at Murray’s. Undeterred, he clawed back a six-second deficit in four laps and won an awesome drag race to the finish which would have done justice to Santa Pod in its 50th anniversary year. Boultbee Brooks chased them, clearly adoring his ex-jim Clark Lister-jaguar.
Andy Park and Benn Simms were barely separable in Historic FF2000, but Park spun away his unbeaten record – seeking a clean exit from Murray’s while watching Australian Mark Goldsmith’s Elfin 622 from the Classic Racing Car posse among which Andy Jarvis (Palliser) was uncatchable – on Sunday, rewarding the tenacious Simms, who set a new 300 circuit target.
Nick Fennell aced a very thin Formula Junior field on Saturday, screaming his Ford France Lotus 27 past Greg Thornton’s 20/22 before Greg missed a gear and rotated. Thoughts of a double evaporated when Nick pitted when his engine stuttered on Sunday, but Thornton almost threw the gift away, spinning between Montreal and Palmer on the last lap. Only by squeezing Alex Morton, duelling with Aussie Marty Bullock in the final seconds, did he keep them behind.
Despite missing second gear off the start and being engulfed both days, poleman Graham Pattle won the
By-box Touring Car rounds in his Lotus Cortina. Defending champion Simon Benoy (Imp) led for a lap on Sunday, when Neil Wood – whose immaculate Ford Anglia’s throttle linkage had disintegrated on Saturday – looked to have Pattle beaten. Having repassed him brilliantly into Riches, Wood stayed ahead until his engine cut out momentarily on the final lap. “I’m gutted, but it was a great race,” said Neil.
Even starting from the back on Saturday to conserve his gearbox, Classic Clubmans king Mark Charteris was unbeatable. Spencer Mccarthy led the chase on day one but a quick stop for a flapping front mudguard to be removed dropped him to fifth on Sunday. He charged back to third behind Mark Hales (Centaur) while Barry Webb completed an Ff1600-engined double over Rachel Green (debuting the D-tech team’s unique Penfold) after Clive Wood’s weekend woes resurfaced.
Once clear of Ian Pearson’s URS FF2000 Van Diemen there was no stopping Simon Jackson (Chevron B43) in Classic F3. Paul Dibden completed the podium each day in the locally-built ex-david Sears Argo JM6. Halted by a broken throttle return spring on Saturday, Hugh Price (Chevron B38) shot from the back to fifth in race two, splitting the Van Diemens of Chrisses Lord and Levy. After two gripping 1600cc F3 contests, Adrian Langridge (ex-barrie Maskell Dastle) and Glenn Eagling (ex-mo Harness Ensign) shared the honours.
Rob Beebee’s joyous B8 weekend was completed with comfortable wins in both Allcomers tussles, run concurrently with the tin-tops. Canadian Pete Hallford’s thunderous Senna Straight passes in his Chevrolet Corvette would have impressed his American neighbours’ 96th Bomb Group to which RAF Snetterton Heath was home during WW2.
Grant topped very tight Historic FF1600 outing
Lewis (r) took Archie Scott Brown win in stunning Lister
Boultbee Brooks/beebee Chevron cleaned up in the Guards Trophy